Author Topic: The Poetry Thread  (Read 521 times)

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Offline shnozzola

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The Poetry Thread
« on: October 08, 2012, 07:14:56 PM »
My wife and I love this movie, Smoke Signals.  Thomas Builds-the-Fire says this at the end:

how do we forgive our fathers

How do we forgive our Fathers?
Maybe in a dream
Do we forgive our Fathers for leaving us too often or forever
when we were little?
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage
or making us nervous
because there never seemed to be any rage there at all.
Do we forgive our Fathers for marrying or not marrying our Mothers?
For Divorcing or not divorcing our Mothers?
And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing or leaning
for shutting doors
for speaking through walls
or never speaking
or never being silent?
Do we forgive our Fathers in our age or in theirs
or their deaths
saying it to them or not saying it?
If we forgive our Fathers what is left?

— Dick Lourie
* This poem is read during the last scene in Smoke Signals. It was
originally published in a longer version titled “Forgiving Our
Fathers” in a book of poems titled Ghost Radio published by Hanging
Loose Press in 1998
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 07:21:40 PM by shnozzola »
We have guided missiles and misguided men.  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Who cares if Kim Jung-Un gets a nuke. Nukes don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Offline Graybeard

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Re: The Poetry Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 06:17:49 AM »
Another view of fathers: [wiki]Do not go gentle into that good night.[/wiki]

"Dylan Thomas watched his father, formerly in the Army, grow weak and frail with old age. The poet relates this experience in this poem. The speaker tries to convince his father to fight against imminent death."

This version, as you see, is read by Richard Burton - there is a Youtube video of Dylan Thomas himself reading it, but IMHO it is not as good.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Nam

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Re: The Poetry Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 12:22:23 AM »

questions unanswered

there's a cold mystical thought
running from each edge
of every cliff fermented
in the vein of stones laid bare

and each night becomes
like each morning
before the moon beckons
the stars to become arias

where are the mystical chants
heard from afar
whispered in every breadth
echoed in the sea of space

David Garrett Arnold
October 24 2012

"presumptions are the bitch of all assumptions" -- me

Offline EV

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Re: The Poetry Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 04:35:51 AM »
I really like this one. It's about the potato famine.

Seamus Heaney's 'At a Potato Digging'

A mechanical digger wrecks the drill,
Spins up a dark shower of roots and mould.
Labourers swarm in behind, stoop to fill
Wicker creels.  Fingers go dead in the cold.

Like crows attacking crow-black fields, they stretch
A higgledy line from hedge to headland;
Some pairs keep breaking ragged ranks to fetch
A full creel to the pit and straighten, stand

Tall for a moment but soon stumble back
To fish a new load from the crumbled surf.
Heads bow, trunks bend, hands fumble towards the black
Mother.  Processional stooping through the turf

Recurs mindlessly as autumn.  Centuries
Of fear and homage to the famine god
Toughen the muscles behind their humbled knees,
Make a seasonal altar of the sod.

Flint-white, purple.  They lie scattered
like inflated pebbles.  Native
to the black hutch of clay
where the halved seed shot and clotted
these knobbed and slit-eyed tubers seem
the petrified hearts of drills.  Split
by the spade, they show white as cream.

Good smells exude from crumbled earth.
The rough bark of humus erupts
knots of potatoes (a clean birth)
whose solid feel, whose wet inside
promises taste of ground and root.
To be piled in pits; live skulls, blind-eyed.

Live skulls, blind-eyed, balanced on
wild higgledy skeletons
scoured the land in ‘forty-five,
wolfed the blighted root and died.

The new potato, sound as stone,
putrefied when it had lain
three days in the long clay pit.
Millions rotted along with it.

Mouths tightened in, eyes died hard,
faces chilled to a plucked bird.
In a million wicker huts
beaks of famine snipped at guts.

A people hungering from birth,
grubbing, like plants, in the bitch earth,
were grafted with a great sorrow.
Hope rotted like a marrow.

Stinking potatoes fouled the land,
pits turned pus into filthy mounds:
and where potato diggers are
you still smell the running sore.

Under a gay flotilla of gulls
The rhythm deadens, the workers stop.
Brown bread and tea in bright canfuls
Are served for lunch.  Dead-beat, they flop

Down in the ditch and take their fill
Thankfully breaking timeless fasts;
Then, stretched on the faithless ground, spill
Libations of cold tea, scatter crusts.
"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative."
- Philosopher John Stuart Mill, from a Parliamentary debate (May 31, 1866);

Offline naemhni

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Re: The Poetry Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 07:24:31 AM »
This is a favorite that I learned in high school.  I especially like poetry that sounds musical even when you just read it silently to yourself, and this is one of the best examples of that that I've seen.

"The Song of the Chattahoochee"
by Sidney Lanier

Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover's pain to attain the plain
Far from the hills of Habersham,
Far from the valleys of Hall.

All down the hills of Habersham,
All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried 'Abide, abide,'
The willful waterweeds held me thrall,
The laving laurel turned my tide,
The ferns and the fondling grass said 'Stay,'
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed 'Abide, abide,
Here in the hills of Habersham,
Here in the valleys of Hall.'

High o'er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, 'Pass not, so cold, these manifold
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
These glades in the valleys of Hall.'

And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone
-- Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet and amethyst --
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call --
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main,
The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
Calls through the valleys of Hall.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Nam

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Re: The Poetry Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 02:03:48 PM »

Well, Susie,
She's a simple girl
Tryin' to find her way
Back from yesterday.

This old guitar
It weighs heavy
on my heart,
Been through many years
of ache, and fear;
Been torn apart
When love forgot
her name.

It's the same,
Each moment in time,
Tryin' to figure out
the next rhyme
And wonderin' if
these tears will
ever run dry?

Well, Susie,
No take-back girl;
The life she wasn't given;
Beaten and bruised
Left wanted and used
Tormented and abused;
Yet her head lifted high
at the sun
With its strength
in the sky,
Like the stars:
How they pull us close,
Where time stands still,
And what we choose
becomes what we

Well, Susie,
She became notes in a song
Lyrics that were sung;
And a heart beatin'
Close to my soul.

And, when she passed away,
I want you to know:
She took with her this song.

David Garrett Arnold
May 14 2012

"presumptions are the bitch of all assumptions" -- me

Offline grant

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Re: The Poetry Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2012, 05:39:36 AM »
Where's the body mate?
What if the hokey pokey is what its all about?

Offline Brakeman

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Re: The Poetry Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 05:53:05 AM »
I have a buddy,
My buddy's a toad.
He's kinda muddy,
He's flat on the road.
But he is my buddy,
and my buddy to stay,
'till he's peeled up,
and washed away..

Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !